A language of Thailand

Alternate Names
Chao Dong, “Chaobon” (pej.), “Chaobun” (pej.), Chaodon, “Chaubun” (pej.), Lawa, Niakuol, Niakuoll, Nyah Kur, Nyakur

1,500 (2006 C. Shimmin), decreasing. 0 monolinguals. Ethnic population: 3,000 (Thongkum 1984).


Central, northeast side, foot of Phetchabun mountains; mainly in Chaiyaphum Province; also in Bueng Kan, Sakon Nakhon, and Kalasin provinces; possibly in Phitsanulok and Phetchabun.

Language Maps
Language Status

7 (Shifting).


Chaiyaphum users say they understand Petchabun only with difficulty, if at all. At least 91% lexical similarity among all dialects (Diffloth 1984).



Language Use

Few children can speak Nyah Kur. Nearly extinct in Petchabun and Nakhon Ratchasima provinces (2007 SIL). Home. Mainly older adults. Mixed attitudes. Some have strong identity links to their language, others prefer to identify themselves as Thai (2002 P. Suwilai, 2007 SIL). 1,500 also use Thai [tha].

Language Development
Literacy rate in L1: 1%. Literacy rate in L2: 75%. Most men and the younger generation are literate in Thai. Literacy in Thai transfers easily to Nyah Kur. Dictionary.

Thai script [Thai].

Other Comments

Buddhist, Christian, traditional religion.